We, in the United States, by almost any measure, enjoy more freedom than anywhere else in the world. But what does it mean to be free?
I’m going to suggest that we’re not really free as long as we experience fear, anxiety and frustration…and what I’m seeing is an alarming number of Americans living in fear.
Yes, we have:
- Freedom of speech
- Freedom of assembly and lawful demonstration
- Freedom to elect those we want to represent us
- Freedom of religion
- And myriad other freedoms as well
But, even with all of these freedoms, an alarming number of our populace is experiencing fear…a fear so great that they’re trying desperately to protect what they have. That’s not freedom, that’s entrapment. One of my college professors offered the following example of self-inflicted entrapment.
The professor had just purchased a beautiful new leather jacket…something he’d wanted for quite some time. He went to the library and hung his new jacket on the coat rack across the room. Every few seconds he’d look over to make sure that the jacket was still there…that someone hadn’t taken it from him. When he realized what he was doing he wondered “Do I own the jacket or does the jacket own me?”
Fear of loss of anything traps us. It’s one of the most debilitating and counterproductive emotions we experience. We cannot be free when we’re operating out of fear, anxiety and frustration. You know from personal experience that whenever you’re experiencing one of these emotions that you’re not thinking clearly and that, as soon as you set these emotions aside, you quickly find a solution to whatever problem you’re facing.
To be truly free and, consequently, to truly enjoy life, you have to free yourself of these emotions. The question is “How?”
There are several ways you can avoid the self-imposed trap of fear. You can recall:
- All of the times that you faced situations in which you had no background or experience and still produced a favorable result.
- That your worst fears have rarely, if ever, been realized.
Armed with this awareness, you can quickly set aside any fear that you have and move into the more powerful state of objective analysis.
You’ll also find it easier to let go of the outcome knowing that you’re able to deal with anything that comes your way.
For our kids
As the kids in your life see you operating from positions of confidence, excitement and joy…when they see you fearless, calm, composed and free of frustration, they’ll adopt your lifestyle. They will quickly discover the joy of being truly free. They, like you, will focus on helping other free themselves of fear, anxiety and frustration. In doing so, they’ll find great joy in helping others be truly free.